It’s about time.
Time is one commodity that cannot be saved, cannot earn interest and cannot be replicated. So often, at universities, we talk about cloning ourselves so that we can work smarter, not harder and get more accomplished in a day. “If only there were two of me.” Once we, as Registrars, Administrators, Vice-Presidents, Chairpersons, realize that cloning isn’t an option and that there is still work to be done, we must do one of three things:
Seek out class scheduling software solutions, like Coursedog, to help us to find efficiencies
Hire qualified staff
Use what we’ve got (and hope for the best)
Let's examine our options.
Seek out software solutions:
For a long term and sustainable solution, you can seek out software that gives you time back by working smarter, not harder, to answer some of the long-standing questions and to satisfy the goals of your institutions’ Strategic Plan. In terms of Academic Scheduling, what is ideal is to gain not only your time, but also the time of the academic department schedulers, too. Try to find a simple to use academic class scheduling software, useable by chairpersons and faculty, driven by workflow, not by spreadsheets and a voluminous number of emails.
When you blend workflow that considers student need, faculty preference and room optimization and does so quickly and efficiently and with the ability to eliminate manual data entry, you have definitely worked smarter.
Hire qualified staff.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it. Create a new position request form, get it approved by your director, VP, HR Director and President and advertise: “Fast-growing institution seeking hard-working, technologically-inclined, qualified higher ed administrator, worthy of human duplication.” Convene a hiring committee of your peers, who are also time strapped to review 100s of applications and interview the top 3-5 candidates and, finally, bring the candidates in to meet with the hiring director and Vice President. Select candidate, pray that individual is interested and that the university administration makes a competitive offer.
Use what we’ve got (and hope for the best).
While we await the outcome of our talent search and bearing in mind that the show must go on, we simply have to work smarter. Where to start? You can ask for reports with your IT report developers, who can help you to answer where to put your resources.
Admissions: Which high schools do we visit and how many times do we visit them?
Retention: Do our student athletes persist and at what rate to graduation?
Facilities: How do we decide what number of classrooms to put in our new building?
Do we have too many 8am classes? Do we have enough adjuncts?
How many sections of English Comp II do we need?
Isn’t there a better way to build our class schedule other than using Excel?
How often should we run the room optimizer?
And most importantly: “Can you build me some sort of database so that it takes me hours, rather than weeks to build a course schedule?”
Wait. (And, maybe, wait some more.)
It’s about time you worked smarter, not harder.